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Dress code introduced for Ipswich taxi drivers – here’s what they can and can’t wear

PUBLISHED: 11:49 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:37 05 December 2018

Taxi drivers in Ipswich will have to abide by a new dress code Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Taxi drivers in Ipswich will have to abide by a new dress code Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Archant

A dress code has been introduced for cab drivers in Ipswich in a bid to present a “professional image” of licensed drivers in town.

Ipswich Borough Council’s licensing and regulatory committee met on November 29, where it approved a series of updates to its licence for taxi and private hire vehicles.

Among them was a proposal to introduce a dress code to make sure drivers were wearing acceptable clothes, and have a consistent image across the town.

The report said: “The purpose of a driver’s dress code is to seek a standard of dress that provides a positive image of the hackney carriage and private hire trade in Ipswich to enhance a professional image of licensed drivers and ensure that public and driver safety is not compromised.”

The council said that most drivers already dressed appropriately, but acknowledged there had been “varying standards” until now.

Councillor Stephen Connelly, chairman of the Ipswich Borough Council licensing committee said it made Councillor Stephen Connelly, chairman of the Ipswich Borough Council licensing committee said it made "commercial sense" for a dress code Picture: IBC

Councillor Stephen Connelly, chairman of the licensing and regulatory committee, said: “We are proud to have the best trained taxi and private hire drivers in the county and continue to work to ensure that they are recognised as such. The vast majority already dress smartly and we want to regularise the situation for everyone to ensure customer confidence.

“Dressing smartly makes good commercial sense and several companies already have their own dress code.”

The code requires drivers to wear clean clothes, with men wearing trousers or knee length shorts and shirt, while women are required to wear trousers, knee-length skirt or dress and a shirt or blouse.

It bans drivers from wearing clothes that are ripped, contain offensive graphics, sportswear, sandals or flip-flops or hoodies.

Kelvin Suffolk, an Ipswich taxi driver of 16 years, said: “Won’t affect me, I apply to what they want anyway. I don’t smell, I don’t wear any slogans or anything open so I wouldn’t have a problem with it anyway.”

A retired cabbie of 30 years, Peter, added: “I think that they should be respectfully dressed with a clean appearance but I don’t think they should be told what they can and can’t wear.

“There used to be a dress code of no jeans, a shirt with a collar and trousers but that’s all relaxed now. I think it’s going to be difficult to uphold, especially with different religions.”

Other measures passed included all drivers being registered with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) update service for updated checks, a certificate of good conduct being required for drivers not born in the UK who moved to the country after the age of 10, a code of conduct and new drivers being issued both a hackney carriage and private hire licence.

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